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John Paul II remembered as 'friend of humanity'
Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II

.- Archbishop Piero Marini, who served as Pope John Paul II’s master of liturgical ceremonies, said the late Pope's beatification will be “a chance for all to reconnect with this friend of humanity.”

We must all “encounter John Paul II anew, listen to him again, interpret his gestures once more and be enthralled by his love for evangelization,” the archbishop said in a March 27 interview with Vatican Radio.

The late Pope will be beatified May 1.

Archbishop Marini, the current head of the Vatican's committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, encouraged Catholics to “foster holiness in their lives by responding to the vocation the Lord has given with humility and simplicity, as John Paul II did in dedicating his life to proclaiming the Gospel.”

“Through the proclamation of the word, through the celebration of the Eucharist and the Sacraments, he was able to bring unity to the Church around the figure of the Pope,” he said.

John Paul II's closeness to “the holy people of God” was the emblematic sign of his entire pontificate, the archbishop explained. “To see him draw close to the people, to communities, even the small ones, to see the poor almost want to rush upon him … reminded me of scenes from the Gospel,” he added.

Archbishop Marini said he hopes both believers and non-believers “will consider John Paul II a friend.”

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